With a lot of hard work, a couple of stress related heart attacks and lots of coffee!
On a serious note though, it ain't easy to be honest. I made the transition 8 years ago and would not want to go back but I was fortunate enough that my wife was working and earning a very good wage.
You have to be sure that the work is there which in this climate ain't that simple. Have money behind you to pay the bills for the time it takes to build up and then hope upon hope that the economic climate doesn't get worse.
I know it sounds a bit doom and gloom but if you work hard and use your brain, it really does/can work.
One thing to get right is promotion (that's my business - I dsign and sell cards, letterheads, flyers etc). Without promotion, you are going no where fast and it's one place you don't want to skimp! Ensure you get quality materials to sell yourself with. Poor quality leaflets look shoddy and reflect on your image. Full colour, double sided ones makeyou look lie a quality outfit who really care.
If you want any
info from my point of view, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
. I'll sort you some good forum discount on promo items too. Maybe free artwork also?